Cincinnati Dinner Train takes people back in time
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - One of the Queen City's hidden gems puts people on the fast track to a simpler time. It's the Cincinnati Dinner Train.
Boarding the train feels like a trip back in time. Passengers have their pick of four vintage rail cars.
The Cincinnati Dinner Train has been rolling down the tracks for 10 years. It actually leaves promptly at 6:00 every Saturday night with the Queen City sisters aboard. They're a 1940s Andrews Sisters trio.
Unless you've heard it through the grapevine or stumbled across it online, it's one of the best keep secrets of the area. "We have not spent one dime on advertisement over the last 6 years, it's all word of mouth and every year it gets further and further out to get a ticket," says co-owner Brian Collins.
Many come a long way for it. "There's only about 15 dinner trains in the whole United States because they can't get track rights and they can't get insurance."
Celebrating two years together, Seth and Caitlin made the trip from Chillicothe. "I stumbled across it online actually and she always said she has an old soul so she said she felt like she should be back a generation or two, so with it being set in the 1940s it was a perfect opportunity."
Lesha Munich picked this as the perfect birthday gift for her husband, Jacob. "Victoria rolls. I had a crew and I said I'm taking this man out for his birthday and I want to look like it. So that's what we did. We went 1940s all the way."
During the three hour ride from Oakley to the riverfront, passengers even get to walk through each of the train cars. "Just being able to see the kitchen and the tavern is a whole different experience. The little porch out back where you can actually see behind the train that was really pretty."
The newest car has quite the history. "I would have never anticipated they would have a Ringling Brother's car. That was neat."
The Oasis Tavern was originally the home of seven band members on the red train of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus which shut down last May. "All these musicians are sending me nice emails, I'm so glad you've saved our car. That was really close to us for so many years. It really gave me a good feel."
Brian likes to keep the night interesting for his guests, sharing some history and surprises along the way.
Back in to 2018 at the end of the night with a full belly and fun memories. "I was so excited. All the time I'm like, I wish I lived in an earlier generation so this has been so fun. She's home."
The dinner train only closes down in January and February.